Free Marketing Opportunities That Can Help Grow Your Business

By on September 1, 2013

By Ryan –

It’s tough being in business in a competitive environment, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to cut through the clutter. Good marketing isn’t necessarily about spending the most money or even nailing the most impressions… sometimes all you need is a smart, strategized marketing plan to push your business over the top.

Particularly within the small and medium-sized business arena, marketing budgets remain constrained in the wake of the recession. It’s never a good idea to cut your marketing budget or department altogether, but there are a few ways you can maximize your presence without tapping out the bank account. Here are a few totally free marketing opportunities you’re probably not taking advantage of.

Have Other Businesses Market for You

Business partnerships are the best thing you can cultivate in a competitive market. Hitching your wagon to another more established business – within reason – is a smart way to boost your community presence while strengthening your B2B ties. For example, if your business revolves around closet system installation, talk to local realtors and high-end clothing boutiques about placing your cards or brochures in their office. You’re adding value to their package of services and may bring yourself business, too.

Use Social Media to Your Benefit

Social media is a powerful free marketing tool, but it needs to be used correctly to work. Social networking shouldn’t be looked at as an extra item on a to-do list, it should be part of an overall cultivated marketing plan. First and foremost, offer useful, relevant information surrounding your industry, product, and overall business to customers. Never bombard your social contacts with sales pitches and be sure you’re offering something of value when you post ; your numbers will eventually grow and you’ll have an interested audience when you are ready to pitch. And don’t stretch yourself too thin. Pick two or three social channels and focus your efforts there.

Donate Your Time to a Local Cause

What’s better than giving back to your community and scoring free marketing all at the same time? Choose a local group that could use your time – think Habitat for Humanity or a 5K your business organizes – and assemble a team with skills that are useful. Brand your team while at the event and hand out free samples and marketing materials while you’re there, when applicable. Not only will you be making a name for your business as a charitable company, you’ll be building brand recognition within your market.

Offer Your Knowledge for Free

You’re in business because you’re particularly skilled at something. Why not offer courses, webinars, or even on-site instructionals to other businesses and/or potential clients? Give away a nugget or two of information that proves you know what you’re doing, and customers will call you when they need the full package. Half the battle of cutting through marketing clutter is proving you’re an “expert” in your field. The best way to do that is to offer a taste of your services for free.

Marketing can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. The most effective marketing plans are organic and include all kinds of methods for reaching targeted customers. These free marketing ideas are a great start if you don’t have much to spend but at the end of the day it’s important to carve out a budget for a complete marketing regimen.

Ryan is a product manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.

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Free Marketing Opportunities That Can Help Grow Your Business